I was hanging out with a good buddy of mine a little while back and, you might have guessed, if we’re friends it’s because we both love cars. He and I were chatting about dream garages as I was driving the McLaren 720S that week and as the discussion progressed, it evolved into limiting the source of all our cars from one single brand. Before long, the list involved a Cayenne and/or a Panamera Sport Turismo for family duty, a 911 GT3 for track days, a 718 Boxster S for weekend fun and a Macan for daily life.
In this setting, and in the real world, the Macan is like a swiss army knife where it can fulfill the vast majority of needs, from fast commutes, picking up the kids at school and to taking on the all-important Costco test. While all versions of the Porsche Macan have their merits, the GTS stands out no matter what. Just stating the letters GTS somehow make bad weather seem easier to tolerate.
A GTS Porsche is typically the heart of a model’s line-up as it combines the best elements from the vast array of available features and some bonus material. The nearest comparison within the range can be made with the Macan S, on which the GTS is based.
GTS power boost
Both sport a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 but the GTS gains an extra 20-horsepower for a total of 360 and more importantly, 30 lb.-ft. of torque for a maximum of 369 lbs. between 1,650 and 4,000 rpm. Despite the basic GTS tipping the scale at 30 kg more than an S, it bests the latter to 100 km/h by 0.2 seconds with a time of 5.2 seconds. They both share Porsche’s excellent 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission – there’s no improvement possible here.
Beyond the power, the included air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) not only lowers the GTS by 10 mm but increases its range, both from a comfort stand point, and dynamically speaking. This reflects a GTS’ true nature. Yes, the GTS has more power than an S, but it’s not meant to be a performance alternative – it is designed to cosset as well as entertain. Steering is balanced to perfection, and the brakes are powerful.
This sporty crossover’s road manners are faultless. In the city, the dampers left in normal are perfectly suited to ruts and dips and best of all, need not be switched into Sport once on the highway. The Macan rides competently and provides inspiring confidence no matter what. All the Sport modes are fun but again, the suspension is perfect as is. Set in Sport, the powertrain becomes livelier but at all times, the Sport exhaust must be activated in order to get the full effect.
One could potentially track a GTS on weekends and tackle the daily grind during the week with this one and same vehicle. That’s talent.
The 2018 Porsche Macan GTS is also designed to put its best foot forward. It includes the Sport Design package and numerous blacked out elements such as the headlights, side window trim and dual twin tailpipes. In my mind, any GTS-trimmed Porsche is at its most desirable physically, with the possible exception of an RS 911. Speaking of RS, the satin black RS Spider Design wheels are sexy and stealth. Although white or Carrara white are marvelous on the Macan GTS, I’d opt for Sapphire blue, Mahogany or ultimately, Carmine red.
The GTS also throws in aptly-named GTS sports seats. Covered in garnet leather, they look good enough to want to hug, and never let go. The heavy bolstering provides support and comfort for the long road ahead. The rear bench is ideally suited to two average adults while the trunk is more capacious than expected because of its interior height.
The dashboard, center console and all controls are nearly identical to all other Porsche products save for the most recent Panamera and Cayenne. Standard with the GTS are Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with navigation, a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio, heated front seats and more along with all the aforementioned styling and performance goodies. From the base $76,000 GTS, my tester also included the Premium Package Plus, Lane Change Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Connect Plus (Wi-Fi, real time traffic information and Apple CarPlay) for a grand total of $84,510.
The Premium Package Plus (Panoramic Roof System, BOSE audio, rear heated seats) will be a very popular option but I’d pass. I’d stick a basic GTS and maybe splurge on some 21″ Sport Classic wheels in exterior color.
The German options
The Porsche Macan is the most proficient small luxury crossover your money can buy. A BMW X3 M40i, Audi SQ5 or Mercedes GLC 43 AMG are closer in price to the Macan S however a mere number of options added to these vehicles brings their price up to GTS level, without options. All three are incredible vehicles but none are a Porsche.